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The coming green computers.

Introduced on Earth Day 1993, by an epic cast of characters including Vice President Al Gore Noun 1. Al Gore - Vice President of the United States under Bill Clinton (born in 1948)
Albert Gore Jr., Gore
, the concept is simple: Computer equipment capable of going into an energy-saving "sleep" mode when sitting idle earns itself an Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and  (EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.

eicosapentaenoic acid

EPA, See acid, eicosapentaenoic.

) "Energy Star." Since last April, what was a novelty corner's worth of hibernation-capable desktop PCs and printers has swelled to a storeful. Nearly 300 computer, monitor, printer, peripheral and software manufacturers - including all the most well-known and influential companies like Apple, Canon, Compaq, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Hewlett-Packard and IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries)  - have embraced the concept. Over 75 companies are already offering products, in many cases entire lines of them.

It may be that the idea has garnered more newspaper and magazine ink than equipment sales - it's too early to tell. But President Clinton has mandated that the largest PC buyer in the world - the U.S. government - set a good example by embracing the Energy Star program. The fact that many Energy Star computers cost no more than their energy-wasting counterparts adds to their appeal.

Basically, Energy Star computing equipment is programmed to do what all energy-conscious computer users ought to do - automatically, effortlessly and more efficiently than you can do it intentionally. Steven Anzovin, author of The Green PC, a paperback bible for conscientious computing, suggests that you turn off your system - or at least your monitor, printer and desk lights, all of which use more power than does the computer - "every time you get up from your desk." Energy Star equipment saves you the hassle of flipping switches and figuring out where you were when you left. Like a screen saver A utility that was originally created to prevent a CRT from being etched by an unchanging image. After a specified duration of time without keyboard or mouse input, it blanks the screen or displays moving objects. Pressing a key or moving the mouse restores the screen.  that prolongs the life of idle monitors (without saving any power) by drawing on their screen flying toasters, Spyrographs, tropical fish tropical fish

Any of various small fishes of tropical origin often kept in aquariums. They are interesting for their behaviour or showiness or both. Popular varieties include the angelfish, guppy, kissing gourami, sea horse, Siamese fighting fish, and tetra.
 or the sort of starfield you'd see from the Starship Enterprise Enterprise or USS Enterprise are the names of several fictional starships, some of which are the focal point for various television series and films in the Star Trek franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. , Energy Star equipment goes dormant every time you're interrupted by a phone call, doorbell, crying child or visit from a fellow employee. As with the screen saver, a touch of a key reanimates animates the equipment, returning you to exactly where you were prior to the period of hibernation.

Investing in an Energy Star PC, monitor and printer for your home might shave only $5 to $20 off your electricity bill annually. But economies of scale stretch the "negawatt" savings significantly. If each of the country's 18-million-plus home computer owners reduced their bills by $5, the yearly savings would be $90 million. In the business world, the payoffs would be larger still: Computer systems are believed to account for five percent of commercial energy consumption; reports show that the 30 to 35 million PCs used in the nation's businesses sit unused the vast majority of time they're on; and an estimated 30 to 40 percent of PCs are left running at night and on weekends.

By compensating with circuits that circumvent such sloth sloth (slōth, slôth), arboreal mammal found in Central and South America distantly related to armadillos and anteaters. Sloths live in tropical forests, where they sleep, eat, and travel through the trees suspended upside down, clinging to  and wastage wastage

a loss of product or productivity; in terms of animal production includes losses due to deaths of animals, lowered production from survivors, including reproduction, and lost opportunity income.

wastage Fetal wastage, see there
, the EPA's Brian Johnson estimates that the amount of energy saved could be 26 billion kilowatts by the year 2000. That translates into the amount of electricity presently used to power all of Maine, New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E).  and Vermont for a year. And the Earth could be spared 20 million tons of carbon dioxide carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. , the primary greenhouse gas greenhouse gas
Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.

greenhouse gas 
, plus 140,000 tons of sulfur dioxide sulfur dioxide, chemical compound, SO2, a colorless gas with a pungent, suffocating odor. It is readily soluble in cold water, sparingly soluble in hot water, and soluble in alcohol, acetic acid, and sulfuric acid.  and 75,000 tons of nitrogen oxides. "I believe the Energy Star program is going to change the way desktop computers work for the better," says Bristol Stickney, a research associate for E Source in Boulder, Colorado The City of Boulder (, Mountain Time Zone) is a home rule municipality located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. Boulder is the 11th most populous city in the State of Colorado, as well as the most populous city and the county , an off-shoot of the Rocky Mountain Institute The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an organization in the United States dedicated to research, publication, consulting, and lecturing in the general field of sustainability, with a special focus on profitable innovations for energy and resource efficiency. , the energy thinktank which coined the "negawatt" concept 17 years ago.

All that's required to earn an Energy Star is the addition of some simple circuitry. Power-saving techniques are nothing new to computer manufacturers - they've always used them in laptop PCs to extend battery life to prolong the period portables operate on their own power. The EPA standards only ask that monitors and system units use no more than 30 watts while napping in order to wear the Energy Star label, while printers must power down to no more than 25 watts. The amount of power consumed while the typical PC/monitor duo is on at full force - 150 watts per hour - isn't addressed, so the total wattage wattage

the output or consumption of an electric device expressed in watts.
 used by the new products will vary considerably from unit to unit. A few computers met the Energy Star guidelines without any changes, while many others are slightly-revamped versions of already existing products. So the real breakthrough is in government and business collaboration, not technology. Merely by promising to sanction and promote the end result, the EPA inspired industry to transfer its tried-and-true power-saving technology to desktop computing equipment. The government spent little at its end, and gave no money to the cooperating companies.

Lest you be left with the wrong impression, let us hasten to add that you should not purchase a new PC simply to have a more energy-efficient model. Compulsive consumption is rarely energy-efficient: Continued consumer demand for faster and fancier systems is expected to send 150 million PCs to landfills by the year 2005, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a study by Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University, at Pittsburgh, Pa.; est. 1967 through the merger of the Carnegie Institute of Technology (founded 1900, opened 1905) and the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research (founded 1913). . The 300 million cubic feet of space they'll demand would cost up to $400 million at today's disposal costs, a figure that could easily rise to $1 billion by 2005, the study says. And no one even bothers to estimate how long it would take the computing equipment to degrade. Add to that the power and materials needed to create the 12.0 million computers U.S. consumers buy annually - a figure that may rise to 21.0 million by the year 2000 - and it's easy to see how the energy savings of a new Energy Star PC aren't worth the waste of disposing of an old one. Besides, you can achieve the Energy Star savings on existing equipment with three different add-on devices (see sidebar).

When you do dispose of an old PC, there are many groups and charities that would be thrilled to receive it, especially abroad. Recycling of old PC parts is also growing in popularity.

The First Green Computer

But in the world of the living, some manufacturers are going well beyond Energy Star in greening their PCs, notably Apple, Hewlett-Packard and, at the forefront, the IBM PC Company A subsidiary of the IBM Corporation located in Raleigh, NC, that was involved with all aspects of IBM PCs. In 2004, it became part of Lenovo, which acquired IBM's ThinkPad personal computers. See Lenovo. , an independently run business under Big Blue's umbrella that was founded in late 1992. This is especially encouraging since market researcher International Data Corporation named IBM as the top purveyors of PCs last year - by a landslide. However, because the IBM system's price places it out of the reach of many, you can also consider a number of other less expensive but also less innovative systems that still rank above the pack.

IBM's Personal System/2 E (PS/2 E) breaks ground in a number of ways. It's an anomaly in a world of conformity, all the more distinctive because of the company's conservative image. The PS/2 E's 10-pound, foot-square system box is much smaller than that of a typical PC - it's small enough to fit on a book-shelf - yet it houses a 50-megahertz processor, 4 megabytes of random access memory (RAM) and a 120-megabyte hard disk. ("Megahertz One million cycles per second. See MHz.

MegaHertz - (MHz) Millions of cycles per second. The unit of frequency used to measure the clock rate of modern digital logic, including microprocessors.
" measure speed of data processing data processing or information processing, operations (e.g., handling, merging, sorting, and computing) performed upon data in accordance with strictly defined procedures, such as recording and summarizing the financial transactions of a , "megabytes" measure data storage capacity, and RAM is the space available to the computer for the present operation.) Though you can buy faster systems, this one will easily meet the needs of all but the most demanding users. Because the system has no internal fan, it's abnormally quiet for a PC. A mere 23 watts of power fuels even its most feverish bouts of calculations. That's less than what the EPA mandates Energy Star computers draw when they're idle. The plastic from which the system's snap-on case is fabricated has a 25 percent recycled content, and the design is geared toward further recycling at the end of its life cycle, with a minimum of the metal fasteners that impede recycling efforts.

The IBM system's monitor is equally futuristic: a color flat panel display A thin display screen for computer and TV usage. The first flat panels appeared on laptop computers in the mid-1980s, and the LCD technology became the standard. Stand-alone LCD screens became available for desktop computers in the mid-1990s and exceeded sales of CRTs for the first time  that can hang on the wall in front of you or be propped up with a stand. It looks more like a magic mirror than a monitor. Lifted from IBM's portable line, this "active matrix" screen is considered one of the best in the industry for portables, but its resolution and brightness are less than what you might expect from a desktop. Like the system unit, the 38 watts of power the flat panel requires when operating at peak capacity is a fraction of what traditional monitors require. It also emits no VLF (Very Low Frequency) See low radiation.  (very low frequency) and very of little of the ELF (extremely low frequency See low radiation. ) radiation associated with many monitors, radiation, that some suspect - though none have proven - to be carcinogenic carcinogenic

having a capacity for carcinogenesis.
. The duo's $5,500 price tag is quite steep compared to the less energy-efficient computers, however.

IBM also offers seven more tradition monitors that can reduce the price of a PS/2 E system by more than half. Like the computer, these monitors have a partial recycled plastic content. The smallest of them is 14 inches in size, which is adequate for most uses; the cheapest of the two 14-inch offerings shrinks the system's street price to a much more affordable $2,500. They all meet the Energy Star standards. All the monitors in the line meet the demanding Swedish specs for VLF and ELF radiation,

The PS/2 E's petite components also have another advantage: Small is beautiful if you consider the cumulative energy costs of creating and destroying computers. A pencil-eraser-sized pointing device An input device used to move the pointer (cursor) on screen. The major pointing device is the mouse for the desktop computer and the touchpad for the laptop, although many road warriors bring along a mouse.  called the TrackPoint II is tucked between the keyboard's G and H keys and serves instead of a mouse. The joystick-like TrackPoint II lets users keep their hands on the keyboard, which itself is smaller than usual. The PS/2 E also has PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, San Jose, CA, An international standards body and trade association that was founded in 1989 to establish a standard for connecting peripherals to portable computers. PCMCIA created the PC Card. See PC Card.  (an acronym for Personal Computer Memory Card Industry Association) slots that allow you to use credit-card-sized peripherals like modems, fax boards, and removable disk A disk or disk cartridge that is inserted into the drive for reading and writing and removed when not required. Using optical technologies, CDs and DVDs are the most common examples.  drives. These cards are hyped as being much simpler to install, but historically they've also been much more expensive. While a recent PC Magazine article hints that they're not yet living up to all their promise, their prices are dropping. One newly-introduced PCMCIA modem card costs a mere $220, which compares favorably to what you'd pay for one of their much larger conventional counterparts.

Packaging is an easy target for waste reduction, and IBM hasn't missed it. In addition to attempting to design the PS/2 E's shipping cartons so that they use as little corrugated paper a thick, coarse paper corrugated in order to give it elasticity. It is used as a wrapping material for fragile articles, as bottles.

See also: Corrugate
 (plain brown, rather than bleached white, of course) and polystyrene as possible, the company has begun reusing more bulk shipping materials like pallets and polystyrene foam.

The Toxic Truth

The lion's share of environmental debt created by a PC isn't in its energy consumpution but in the pollution left by its manufacturing. Clearly, IBM's PS/2 E is a laudable product, but it doesn't earn straight A's. Some of its semiconductor chips are made with new and environmentally-improved processes, but other electronic components are fabricated using time-honored, noxious-chemical-intensive methods that belie be·lie  
tr.v. be·lied, be·ly·ing, be·lies
1. To picture falsely; misrepresent: "He spoke roughly in order to belie his air of gentility" James Joyce.
 the industry's "clean" reputation.

The extreme toxicity of making computer parts is one of the reasons Silicon Valley, the region in central California Central California can refer to one of several divisions or regions of the U.S state of California:
  • The state is sometimes described as being in three main sections: Northern California (the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Valley northward), Southern California (south
 where the majority of the companies that manufacture computer chips and boards are located, has the highest concentration of Superfund sites in the U.S. for an area its size. According to Ted Smith of the Silicon Valley Toxies Coalition, 28 of the area's 29 Superfund sites are associated with high technology electronics manufacture. And dozens more Superfund sites scattered throughout the country are tied to processes used to create electronic computer components. And those are just the largest messes - a recent report in the engineering journal Spectrum stated that 150 toxic leaks are being actively monitored in Silicon Valley alone.

Five of the Superfund sites are associated with Intel, the U.S.'s largest semiconductor manufacturer, whose processor chips are found in the vast majority of "IBM clone" computers. IBM is hardly above reproach, either. The company manufactures many of its own electronic components and has at least two Superfund sites, according to Smith. Other polluted IBM sites, such as the company's disk drive fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration.
 plant in San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850.
, aren't on the Superfund list "for political reasons," even though their degree of contamination warrants it, Smith says.

People like Ted Smith and Greenpeace's Bill Walsh acknowledge that the semiconductor industry has been cleaning up its act - if not its historical messes - as of late, at least somewhat. "There has been some progress, but it's slow going at enormous environmental cost," says Smith. For example, the 1990 ban on the use of chlorinated chlorinated /chlo·ri·nat·ed/ (klor´i-nat?ed) treated or charged with chlorine.


charged with chlorine.

chlorinated acids
some, e.g.
 fluorocarbons (CFCs) spurred both the semiconductor and circuit board industries to implement pollution prevention and source reduction measures. Still, the industry fought the, legislation for years and made the changes only when forced into action. There are also many other potentially-dangerous chemicals used by the industry that have simply not yet been proven safe. A recent study definitively linked ethylene glycol ethylene glycol: see glycol.
ethylene glycol

Simplest member of the glycol family, also called 1,2-ethanediol (HOCH2CH2OH). It is a colourless, oily liquid with a mild odour and sweet taste.
 ethers, solvents used by the industry for 20 years, with miscarriages. Now manufacturers are scrambling to find a substitute for them.

The best news about the semiconductor industry is that its government-sponsored research arm, Sematech, now has a mandate to investigate alternative, cleaner production Cleaner production is a preventive, company-specific environmental protection initiative. It is intendend to minimize waste and emissions and maximize product output.[1]  technologies. In response to pressure from grassroots environmental groups, Congres voted to earmark earmark

taking a piece out of the edge or center of the ear with a punch as an identification mark. The shape of the mark may be registerable under local legislation.
 10 percent of Sematech's $100 million budget for forward-thinking, "green" research, stipulating that environmental groups must be consulted to ensure that the money is well-spent. The government is subsidizing the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation's (MCC (The Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation, Austin, TX) The first high-tech research and development consortium in the U.S., created in 1982 by leading companies within the electronics industry. ) research into cleaning and greening up the "packaging" of how semiconductor chips are connected to the boards and to each other in order to create a functional system. So the manufacturing improvements should keep coming, assuming budget cuts don't fell these programs.

Disposing of computers, however, has received very little attention to date. As a nation, we're way behind the Europeans and the Japanese, especially the Germans who have drafted legislation requiring that any company selling computers there must accept old equipment for recycling. Apple, DEC, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and IBM are now building recycling factors into computer designs but, much more important, DEC, HP, and IBM also run facilities to actually collect old computers. At present the most marketable component of these computer carcasses is the metals that can be scavenged from them, according to Bailey Condrey of the American Plastics Council The American Plastics Council (APC) is a major trade association for the U.S. plastics industry. Through a variety of outreach efforts, APC works to promote the benefits of plastics and the plastics industry. . But at least some recycled computer plastic has been reincarnated as "viryl" tiles for McDonald's roofs, he says, thanks to a joint project of DEC and General Electric. Beyond that, Condrey says, recycling of durable plastic goods like computer parts is in its infancy. The American Plastics Council is presently working with a Massachusetts firm called WTE WTE Waste To Energy
WTE Whole Time Equivalent
WTE WebSphere Test Environment
WTE Wassertechnik GmbH (Germany Water Company)
WTE Web Telephony Engine
WTE Wind Tunnel Enterprise (NASA) 
 to build a pilot recycling plant for durable products, including plastics from computers.

The Energy Star program certainly makes PCs more palatable; for the first time in years, it's politically correct politically correct Politically sensitive adjective Referring to language reflecting awareness and sensitivity to another person's physical, mental, cultural, or other disadvantages or deviations from a norm; a person is not mentally retarded, but  to purchase a brand-new one. Still, in the end, even IBM's groundbreaking PS/2 E represents only a step in the right direction. Let's hope PC purveyors continue to follow the path now visible.

Helpful Resources:

* Green Lights/Energy Star, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 401 M Street SW, 6202J, Washington DC 20460/(202)775-6650.

* The Green PC, by Steve Anzonvin, costs $9.95 in stores, or is available postpaid from: TAB Books, 13311 Monterey Avenue, Blue Ridge Blue Ridge, eastern range of the Appalachian Mts., extending south from S Pa. to N Ga.; highest mountains in the E United States. Mt. Mitchell, 6,684 ft (2,037 m) high, is the tallest peak. Beginning with a narrow ridge in the north, c.  Summit, PA 17294/(717)794-2191.

* The Silicon Vauey toxics Coalition, 760 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95112/ (408)287-6707.

* If you want to donate your old computers, cheek with local nonprofit groups, or contact these national programs: East-West Developnwnt Foundaton, 49 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111/(617)542-1234; Educational Assistance Limited, P.O. Box 3021, Glen Ellyn Glen Ellyn, village (1990 pop. 24,944), Du Page co., NE Ill., a residential suburb of Chicago; inc. 1892. Points of interest include Stacy Tavern, a 19th-century stagecoach stop on the Chicago-Galena route; a wildlife sanctuary; and an arboretum. , IL 60138/ (709)690-0010; National Christina Foundation, 42 Hillcrest Drive, Pelham Noun 1. Pelham - a bit with a bar mouthpiece that is designed to combine a curb and snaffle
bit - piece of metal held in horse's mouth by reins and used to control the horse while riding; "the horse was not accustomed to a bit"
 Manor, NY 10803/(800)274-7846.

A Few Energy Stars

The galaxy of Energy Stars is filled with many bright offerings. You can contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a complete list of companies offering Energy Star products, but here are some of the highlights.


Apple's Macintosh Color Classic The Macintosh Color Classic was the first color compact Apple Macintosh computer. It was essentially a Macintosh LC II with an integrated 10" Sony Trinitron color display with 512×384 pixel resolution.  Configuration: 16 megahertz (MHz (MegaHertZ) One million cycles per second. It is used to measure the transmission speed of electronic devices, including channels, buses and the computer's internal clock. A one-megahertz clock (1 MHz) means some number of bits (16, 32, 64, etc. ) 68030 processor; 4 megabytes (MB) of random access memory (RAM); 80 MB hard disk; built-in monitor. Price: $1389 Environmental Attributes Beyond Energy Star: recycled packaging; plastic parts coded for recycling; no CFCs used in manufacturing; batteries can be returned to Apple.

Austin Computer (Austin Computer Systems, Austin, TX) A PC manufacturer founded in 1985 by Robert Diwan that sold a full line of PCs via direct marketing and through the dealer channel. In 1993, it was acquired by IPC (Integrated Processors & Communications), a Singapore PC manufacturer founded in  System's Green PC 486SX/33 Configuration: 486SX-33 processor, 4MB of RAM; 250MB hard drive; 14-inch monitor. Price: $1529 Environmental Attributes Beyond Energy Star: recycled packaging; system takes power reductions significantly below EPA guidelines.

Gateway 2000's 4SX-33 Configuration: 486SX-33 processor; 4MB of RAM; 212MB hard drive; 14-inch monitor. Price: $1295 Environmental Attributes Beyond Energy Star: recycled packaging; company demands that all parts be CFC-free; corporation supports Global Releaf.

Hewlett-Packard's Vectra 486/33XM Configuration: 33MHz 80486 processor, 8MB of RAM; 170MB hard drive; 14-inch monitor. Price:$2489 Environmental Attributes Beyond Energy Star: recycled packaging; product designed for easy recycling.

IBM's Personal System 2/E Configuration: 50MHz processor, 8MB of RAM, 120MB hard disk, 10.4 inch screen Price: $5,500 Environmental Attributes Beyond Energy Star: uses significantly less power than any other desktop PC; case has 25 percent recycled plastic; reduced packaging.


You can make your present PC more energy-efficient by adding a retrofit that automatically powers down your monitor. The $69.95 Green Keeper form B&B Electronics (Ottawa, IL) is a hardware and software device you plug your monitor into. The $79.95 Monitor Miser from Technology Marketing Partners (San Francisco, CA) does the same thing when plugged into your keyboard. Berkeley Systems (Berkeley, CA), the makers of the popular screen saver, After Dark, has announced that they're developing a software-only product that will do much the same thing.


Lasers are the only printers on which you'll find Energy Star stickers - which is not quite fair, because all ink jet and ribbon printers draw less than 25 watts of power when they're not actively printing. Almost all printers are designed to use as little power as possible when they're sitting idle - seeing as how that's the vast majority of the time - so some of the laser printers even met the specification without modification. Some of the more green laser printer features to look for include the ability to print drafts using half the toner required for letter-quality text and manufacturer's willingness to accept spent toner cartridges (both Apple and Hewlett-Packard do).

Random Reasons That Compute

Why do environmentalists desire computers, rely on computers, stare into the glare of their screens until they see spots? The answer is in the software. Here's our list of what to check out:

Logging On. Nearly 100 magazines, including Consumer Reports, The New Republic and Time are available online. James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly says he daily exchanges dozens of messages with readers who log on through services like CompuServe or Prodigy. You can also join an electronic salon to discuss the days pressing issues through Utne Reader magazine. Contact: CompuServe, P.O. Box L-477, Columbus, OH 43260/(800)848-8199.

Greening Your House. The Green Explorer is the electronic equivalent of Heloise's Hints, walking users through a typical house to unveil the environment impact of various household items. Contact: MicroBase, Inc., 3923 South McClintock, Tempe, AZ 85282/ (602), 897-7800.

Killing Time. Chevron's executive gameplayers were so impressed with SimCity that they commissioned Maxis Software to write a business aid called SimRefinery for them. That's not available to the public, but simulation software fans can play the role of city planner with ancient city, future city and "2000" versions of the popular SimCity program. Or try your hand at similar titles like, Maxis' new SimFarm, Save the Planet's educationally-oriented software, Sierra On-line's EcoQuest and Tanager's C.Y.P.H.E.R. Operation Wildlife. Contact: Maxis Software, 2 Theatre Square, Suite 230, Orinda, CA 94563/ (800)336-2947; Save the Planet Software, P.O. Box 45, Pitkin, CO 81241/ (303)641-5035; Sierra On-line, P.O. Box 485, Coarsegold, CA 93614/(209)683-4468; Tanager tanager (tăn`əjər), any of the small, migratory perching birds of the family Thraupidae, chiefly of the tropical New World. Only five species migrate to North America; of these the scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea  Software Productions, 1933 Davis St., Suite 208, San Leandro, CA 94577/(510)430-0900.

Hiking the Trail. Or at least decide which ones look most worth the effort by checking out slide shows and weather information through National Parks of America, available on CD ROM - those new mega-capacity, highly interactive program disks, compatible only with more advanced computers. Contact: Multicom Publishing, 1100 Olive Way, Suite 1250, Seattle, WA 98101/ (800)850-7272.

Surfing the Internet. The much-touted data highway to all manner of arcane academic, governmental and industry information - including E Magazine - has become far easier to travel thanks to a new and free shareware product called Mosaic. It's available through the, Internet to those with a direct connection to it.

Testing the Waters. EnviroMac works with a Macintosh and sensors to capture environmental data like temperature. air quality and energy use. Contact: Remote Measurewnt Systems, Inc., 2633 Eastlake Avenue East, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98102/(206)328-2255.

Love Letters to Washington. Changewater Letters and Federal Soapbox simplify the process of sharing your views with the honorables - Changewater also lists the addresses of key CEOs like the head cheese at Weyerhauser Paper. Contact: Changewater Computing, P.O, Box 4468, Warren, NJ 07059/(800)497-9799; Soapbox Software, 10 Golden Gate Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901/(800)989-7627.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Earth Action Network, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:includes related articles on energy-saving computers recognized by the EPA's Energy Star program and software programs on environmental subjects
Author:Betts, Kellyn S.
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Apr 1, 1994
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